A required minimum
length is given for each essay. This is a required minimum. The grade of
an essay not meeting the required minimum length will be reduced
substantially, and an essay will receive a failing grade if it is
significantly below the minimum required length.
Each essay should have at
least five paragraphs, including an introduction and a conclusion.
Each essay should include
a one-sentence thesis statement in the introduction that (1) identifies the topic, (2)
identified the main ideas presented in the paper, (3) clarifies how the ideas are
logically related, and (4) conveys the main point of the paper.
Each body paragraph should include a clear topic sentence,
preferably as the first sentence, that identifies the main point to be developed or argued
in the paragraph.
Each body paragraph should be at least half of a page long (double
general, introductions and conclusions are not as long as body paragraphs.
A formal writing voice
should be used in each essay. This means the writer should avoid use of
first-person pronouns ("I," "me," etc.), should avoid the use of
contractions ("can't," "won't," etc.), and should avoid the use of slang
or informal expressions.